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New Feature Allows Instagram Users to Monitor Comments

Now Everyone Can Use The Instagram Feature Celebs Love

In July, Instagram granted celebrities access to its newest feature, which allows users to filter comments on their posts. While us commoners sat waiting for the update, stars like Lena Dunham and Chrissy Teigen selected words like "bag of cottage cheese," "Trump," and "cleanse" to ban from their comments sections. When the feature first became available, Kylie Jenner blocked anyone from leaving comments on her feed. She has since opened the comments section up again.

But now, the rest of us can join in on monitoring our Instagrams, too.

Yesterday, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom posted to the social network to announce that the feature is now available across Instagram. "Now, when you tap the gear icon on your profile, you'll find a new Comments tool," he wrote. "This feature lets you list words you consider offensive or inappropriate. Comments with these words will be hidden from your posts. You can choose your own list of words or use default words we've provided. This is in addition to the tools we've already developed such as swiping to delete comments, reporting inappropriate comments and blocking accounts."

He explains that he knows that tools aren't the solution for "keeping Instagram a safe place for self-expression," but vowed to "keep building features that safeguard the community and maintain what makes Instagram a positive and creative place for everyone."

When Mike and I first created Instagram, we wanted it to be a welcoming community where people could share their lives. Images have the ability to inspire and bring out the best in us, whether they are funny, sad or beautiful. Over the past five years, I've watched in wonder as this community has grown to 500 million, with stories from every corner of the world. With this growth, we want to work diligently to maintain what has kept Instagram positive and safe, especially in the comments on your photos and videos. The beauty of the Instagram community is the diversity of its members. All different types of people — from diverse backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and more — call Instagram home, but sometimes the comments on their posts can be unkind. To empower each individual, we need to promote a culture where everyone feels safe to be themselves without criticism or harassment. It's not only my personal wish to do this, I believe it's also our responsibility as a company. So, today, we're taking the next step to ensure Instagram remains a positive place to express yourself. The first feature we're introducing is a keyword moderation tool that anyone can use. Now, when you tap the gear icon on your profile, you'll find a new Comments tool. This feature lets you list words you consider offensive or inappropriate. Comments with these words will be hidden from your posts. You can choose your own list of words or use default words we've provided. This is in addition to the tools we've already developed such as swiping to delete comments, reporting inappropriate comments and blocking accounts. We know tools aren't the only solution for this complex problem, but together, we can work towards keeping Instagram a safe place for self-expression. My commitment to you is that we will keep building features that safeguard the community and maintain what makes Instagram a positive and creative place for everyone.

A photo posted by Kevin Systrom (@kevin) on

Simply update Instagram in the app store, and the new feature will automatically become available to you. Twitter has not yet weighed in on the conversation, but it's only a matter of time before the major social network takes a hint from Instagram and works to ban bullies and trolls.

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